Spinner to lead OCRA, will resign as mayorNovember 6, 2020
By CANDY NEAL
Huntingburg Mayor Denny Spinner has been named the new executive director of the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.
As such, he will resign from his position as mayor, a position he has held for the last nine years. His resignation will be effective Nov. 25.
Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch announced Spinner’s hiring Friday morning.
“Denny brings a wide variety of experience to the state level,” she said. “He has helped lead downtown Huntingburg into a vibrant rural community and his involvement at the local level will be an asset as communities across Indiana work with OCRA to find new successful strategies to further strengthen our economic growth.”
In his new role, Spinner, 64, will lead the agency as it works with local, state and national partners to provide resources and technical assistant to aid communities in shaping and achieving their vision for economic and community development.
“It is an honor to accept this leadership position and I enthusiastically look forward to working with the lieutenant governor and OCRA to discover opportunities to partner with and strengthen communities across our state,” Spinner said. “I believe the experience of leading Huntingburg has prepared me to bring a new vision to OCRA that can help Hoosiers realize how vital our rural communities are in truly creating one Indiana.”
Spinner also sent out a statement to the citizens of Huntingburg Friday morning, thanking them for their support.
“I am humbled by the honor to serve you these past nine years, and by the challenge to help other small towns and cities throughout our great state see opportunity rather than obstacles,” he wrote. “Thank you for you faith in me and allowing me to start a new chapter in my life.”
As mayor, Spinner has promoted and facilitated many community collaborations and economic development initiatives during his tenure.
He facilitated the city’s successful bid of being named a Stellar Community by the state in 2014. That allowed Huntingburg to take advantage of grant funding to build several features in the city, some of which are Market Street Park, the Wagon Works apartment complex and parts of the Heritage Trail walking path in the city. Spinner also oversaw the construction of a much needed railroad overpass, which opened in late 2018.
“When I was elected your mayor in 2011, I pledged that I would work every day to make Huntingburg the best Huntingburg it would be,” Spinner wrote. “Over the last nine years, with a great team alongside me, we have elevated our city to Stellar status and have been recognized as one of the top rural communities in Indiana. I believe that together we have shown the rest of the State of Indiana what Huntingburg is capable of and what a committed community with vision can accomplish.”
Spinner started the Mayor’s Youth Council, which is a board of high school students that he meets with each month to share ideas and to encourage youth involvement in the community. He is also heavily involved in the Latino Collaboration Table, which is a countywide coalition geared to get the Latino community more involved in the overall community.
He served as president of the Association of Indiana Municipalities and is a member of Dubois Strong’s executive board as well as the Region 11 Workforce Investment Board.
A Southridge High School graduate, Spinner has a bachelor’s degree in career and technical education from Indiana State University and an associate’s degree in broadcast production technology from Vincennes University. Prior to becoming mayor, he worked in sales and marketing at Quantum Solutions. He was director of instructional services at the St. Meinrad School of Theology, and has worked as the news and sports director at two local radio stations, WBDC in Huntingburg and then at WITZ in Jasper. He is also a licensed minister.
Spinner and his wife, Shari, have three adult children and seven grandchildren.
“Huntingburg will always be home,” Spinner wrote. “Shari and I thank you for the many special opportunities you have provided to us during the past several years. We will continue to live in Huntingburg and know that the timing is right for your next leader to continue to build Huntingburg’s future. Huntingburg will keep moving forward.”
To replace Spinner, Republican committee members representing Huntingburg precincts will have to hold a caucus to select a new mayor. The details of that caucus have not yet been announced.
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